Tester to Navy: Name new submarine after Montana

Big Sky State is the only state never to have a naval vessel named in its honor

(HELENA, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester has a clear message for the U.S. Navy: it’s time to name a naval vessel after Montana.

The Big Sky State is the only state in the country never to have had a naval vessel named after it. Montana came close on two occasions. In 1906, a ship was christened as the USS Montana only to be renamed later. During World War II, a keel was laid for a new USS Montana, but the war’s end meant the ship was never built.

As the Navy prepares to name its newest Virginia class submarine, Tester today told Navy Secretary Ray Mabus that Montana is overdue to receive recognition.

“Entering the Union in 1889, Montana’s citizens have served their country with pride, and thousands have proudly served in the Navy and Marine Corps,” Tester wrote. “Naming this submarine the USS Montana would be an honor for the people of Montana and would pay tribute to the men and women who have served and given their lives.”

Tester’s effort is supported by the Montana VFW, The American Legion of Montana, and the Montana Department of the Disabled American Veterans. It also earned the backing of the Bozeman Watch Company.

Montana’s landlocked status should not prevent it from having a ship named in its honor. There have been three USS Colorados and three USS South Dakotas.

The Navy’s new submarine is scheduled to be delivered in 2019.


Tester’s letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus